Noahide Laws or Seven commandments incumbent upon all of humankind


05 Aug
05Aug

Lots of people do know something about "The Ten Commandments" but what a lot of people do not seem to know is that God made people in His image and had certain ethics or moral laws imprinted in their heart.

It is after the fall of man that man came to know what is good and what is bad, because they had eaten from the Etz HaDa’as Tov v’Rah (Tree of moral) or Tree of knowledge of good and evil , which gave them insight in well-doing and in wrong-doing.  One would have thought they knew it now and would not rebel any more against the Elohim. But they did and went further away from God. Even so far God decided to destroy their habitat and to start over again with those who had righteously honoured Him. Only the family of Noah was able to survive the flood God brought over the earth.

To those who came out of the Ark of Noah the Elohim told that He with their seed after them He would establish His covenant with Noah for all to know how to behave in this world (Genesis 9:9; Genesis Rabbah 34:8) , and as such the children of Noah were commanded with seven commandments.

Sheva Mitzvot Shel Bnei Noach

The most important for mankind which shall be repeated many times by the Elohim concerned our attitude opposite the Bore or Divine Creator.

1. Do not profane G‑d’s Oneness in any way. 

People should have to acknowledge that there is only One Single Eternal Spirit God who cares about what we are doing and desires that we take care of His world.  Though He can not be seen by man, they should believe in Him as the Only One Who made everything, allows everything to be, but also Who wants recognition for Being the Only One Most High Supreme Being God of gods.

Hasidus (the inner meaning of Torah), makes us to look from “G-d’s perspective” and looks downward into the creation, defining things according to their essence. From this vantage point, one can better define idolatry, and its close relative heresy, as:

the refusal to acknowledge Truth and its sources.

When we look at mankind we can see how often people looked for things or beings which could help them but also would listen to them more than they listening to them. Many prefer to credit a false deity for their success or failure. For the Most High this is going against His Will and is considered worshipping false gods or doing idolatry. such a person believes a false religion, listens to false prophets and teachers, and reveres and studies false “scriptures.” He does not recognize the HaEmes or Truth or its sources. One who rejects idolatry, on the other hand, is one who believes in and worships only the True God, listens only to true prophets and teachers, and studies the authentic Torah only according to its true meaning.

Idolatry or avodah zarah , then, is best defined as the rejection of Truth as such, whereas blasphemy (qilelat ha-shem) involves ignoring or opposing the permeation of holiness into the physical world. Consequently, we classify here all commandments related to the acknowledgement of God’s Truth and its authentic sources.

In later generations, Jews had to determine whether the prevailing religious cultures in which they lived were idolatrous. according to Judaic traditon it is thought that Adam got already six commandments.

Indeed, based on the Talmudic discussion, Maimonides states:

Six items were commanded to Adam: concerning idolatry, blasphemy, bloodshed, illicit sexuality, theft, and laws…God added to Noah, the law of not eating from the flesh of a live animal.” (Maimonides, Laws of Kings 9:1)

The association of these laws with Adam implies that they were established as part of the creation of the natural world.

As such people could know they had not to go against the creation and creatures around them and had to show respect for the One Who made everything: the Maker God Almighty.

2. Do not curse your Creator. 

It might be difficult to recognise that man can not do everything and is not able to create certain things though he migh be able to create a lot, never going to be ableto create as God. this can make people sometimes frustrated but no matter how frustrated or angry they may be with their limitations, they should not take it out verbally against their Creator.

Having to show respect for the creation entails not bringing creatures to an end or killing them for nothing or for unrighteous reasons.

3 or 4. Do not murder.

Man is being created by God and should know that he cannot play for God, deciding over life or death of others. That is only given to the Bore, the Maker and Allower of all things. No person has the right to murder, to shed blood (shefikhut damim)  or take the life of anyone, directly or indirectly.

The value of human life cannot be measured. To destroy a single human life is to destroy the entire world —because, for that person, the world has ceased to exist. It follows that by sustaining a single human life, you are sustaining an entire universe.

  • Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Melachim 9:4
    Gentiles are liable to death for any murder, directly or indirectly, including abortion and euthanasia.
  • Tosafos, Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 59a (“Leika mida’am…”)
    Abortion is forbidden to gentiles as being murder.
  • Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 57
    R. Yishmael’s opinion, that abortion is murder for gentiles, is based on interpreting Gen. 9:6 as requiring gentile death penalty to be by decapitation; the opinion of Tanna d’vei Menasheh interprets the verse differently to allow gentile abortions and require gentile death penalty to be by strangulation.
  • Kesef Mishnah on Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Melachim 9:14
    Agrees with ruling that gentile death penalty is by decapitation and not strangulation, citing passages in the Gemara that support this ruling (thus agreeing with the view of R. Yishmael, and by implication that gentile abortions are murder).                        

It is not just man's life which should be respected. Man received plants and animals as food for himself. To prepare it for eating that should be done in a respectful way.

4 or 6. Do not eat a limb of a living animal. 

As intelligent beings, we have a duty to show respect to other living beings and may not cause undue pain to other creatures. Eating live animals, or parts of live animals is considered not done and people should follow the law of God concerning a limb torn from a living animal (eber min ha-hayy) . We should avoid any form of suffering for living creatures, prohibited as cruelty to animals (and therefore to humans as well).

According to Jewish law, this Noahide Law is (along with the other six) considered to be binding on all the "children of Noah" – that is, all of humanity – as the minimum set of morality laws to be practiced by all human beings, irrespective of their religion. The laws of Kashrut, on the other hand, set out additional regulations which are binding upon Jews only. Thus, Kosher laws further determine what is and is not fit for consumption by Jews, and under what circumstances even otherwise kosher foods become unfit for consumption for Jews (including how an animal must be killed by Jewish ritual slaughter before it is consumed by Jews). Thus, eating of a live animal is forbidden under Noahide Law and specifically for Jews under Kosher law.

Any non-Jew who adheres to the Noahide laws is regarded as a righteous gentile, and is assured of a place in the world to come (Hebrew: עולם הבאOlam Haba), the final reward of the righteous.

  • Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Melachim 9:13
    Gentiles are liable for all details, as a Jew is, regarding living limbs.
  • Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Melachim 9:11
    Gentiles are liable for flesh from a living animal; they are “not executed” for flesh from a living bird (but not mentioned as being mutar).
  • Midrash Rabbah, Koheles 1:9 (#1)
    In the future, gentiles will claim their reward for not having eaten pigs, or for not having eaten neveilos, tereifos, shekatzim, or remasim; implicitly criticizes gentiles for having eaten these.                         

or 6. Harness and channel the human libido  - Concerning sexual immorality (gilui arayot): Man may not commit adultery, bestiality, or sexual immorality. 

The Creator asked the first people to multiply. For Him the family unit is the foundation of human society.

Sexuality is the fountain of life and so nothing is more holy than the sexual act. So, too, when abused, nothing can be more debasing and destructive to the human being. 

Extramarital sex and unrespectful acts of sex are considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Later it would be taken into Seventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:12). Though Leviticus 20:10 prescribes the death penalty for adultery, the legal procedural requirements were very exacting and required the testimony of two eyewitnesses of good character for conviction. The defendant also must have been warned immediately before performing the act. 

this brings us to the other commandment:

7. Do establish  courts of law and ensure justice in our world.

The God of love wants tzedakah or righteousness for every creature. With every small act of justice, we are restoring harmony to our world, synchronizing it with a supernal order. That is why we must keep the laws established by our government for the country’s stability and harmony. 

The Noachide commandment of "justice" also entails that people are told about the rules for the best way of living. As such there are those who have a responsibility to teach their neighbours, friends, associates, etc., the details of the Noachide code, and that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God sees and hears everything, rewarding every good deed and punishing every sin. 

In earlier times, a Gentile living in the Land of Israel who accepted the Seven Laws in front of a rabbinical court was known as a ger toshav (literally stranger/resident) 

The established courts shall have the function to act on the wrong-going of people and to solve disputes.

The last one rule not mentioned yet concerns the respect shown to the belongings of an other person.

4 or 5 or 6. Do not steal

This commandment concerning robbery (ha-gezel)  covers all theft by stealth, such as burglary, cheating, or financial scams.

  • Ramban, Bereishis 34:13
    Noahide law of dinim includes details of geneivah, etc., similar to those for Jews, and requires Noahide courts to execute for geneivah, etc..
  • Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Melachim 9:9
    Gentiles are liable for all forms of theft, under death penalty.
  • Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Maachalos Asuros 13:28
    A gentile who deliberately damages another person’s property is liable to pay compensation.  
                            

The Seven Noahide Laws are considered the minimal observance for mankind and as such for non-Jews, them also being part of the בני נח B'nei Noah or Children of Noah (the Descendants of Noah ). The source of these laws and the basis of their understanding is the Oral Torah, which the Elohim gave to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai along with His Written Law. By learning from the Jews and performing the mitzvos, non-Jews have a crucial role in God's Creation. Any non-Jew who lives according to these laws is regarded as one of "the righteous among the gentiles". 

(For the Jews the Talmud expanded the scope of the seven laws to cover about 100 of the 613 mitzvoth.) 

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Preceding: A Gentile and the Mosaic Law

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The 7 Noahide Laws Signed Into Law By An Act  Of The United States Congress Under President George H.W. Bush

President Bush signed this just mere months before proclaiming thecoming New World Order

As an ancient moral code, the Noahide Laws have been a major influence in many cultures. In fact, in 1991, both houses of Congress passed a bill, signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, that declared the Noahide Laws to be “the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization” and the “ethical values and principles . . . upon which our great Nation was founded” (H.J.RES.104.ENR).

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